Foil Your Friendly Diet Foes
7 strategies to help your diet survive temptations from not-so-supportive friends and loved ones
The same strategy applies to diet. Wouldn't it be sublime if co-workers
swore off Krispy Kremes and walked a half hour at lunch, the kids begged you to
buy broccoli at the store, and your mother offered nothing but kind
Give up the fantasy. Instead, hook up with a friend who's as ready to change
as you are and become diet buddies. Find a role model who's successfully lost
weight and can help you past the rough spots. Enroll in a "Healthy
Cooking" class. You've already made a huge step by joining WebMD Weight
Loss Clinic. Be sure to check out our community for support and
inspiration. You might consider professional help, as well, say a weight
management clinic or counselor. The point is to build a support system that
enables you to become your own best support.
3. Foil Your Fitness Foes
Another key to dealing with lack of support is to know your temptations,
such as going out to eat with friends, and develop a strategy to deal with
"Friends may pressure you to make bad choices," says Joseph
Quatrochi, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Human Performance, Sport and
Leisure Studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver. "Make a couple of
decisions in advance."
One of these decisions is to select foods based on their preparation: for
example, broiled or baked instead of fried. The other is not to clean your
plate. "Often, you can take home one-third to one-half of a meal,"
Quatrochi tells WebMD.
This advice seems particularly pertinent when you consider the findings of a
recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
That research found portion sizes have ballooned anywhere from 23% to 60% over
the past 20 years -- not just in fast food places, but in restaurants, packaged
snacks, and even our homes.
4. Keep it quiet
Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical
Center Health System Weight Management Center, also suggests that you not draw
others' attention to your eating.
"When you announce you're on a diet, people automatically urge you to
eat," she tells WebMD. "In situations where people offer you food,
accept it, but remember you're not obligated to eat it all or even most of
5. Learn to handle sabotage
Perhaps touchiest of all is handling those people who seem bent on
sabotaging your efforts
So try turning it around. For example, when your mother pushes her baked
goodies on you, ask for her support instead, Wilson says.
"Say, 'Mom, I know you care about me, and I really need your help. Your
desserts are a barrier. Will you consider supporting me in this way?'"
"If she accepts, thank her," he says. "If she continues to
sabotage, the voice in your head should tell you that you're growing each time
you go through this process. Cultivate a positive belief in yourself, and trust
that you're getting stronger."